Writes of Passage

downloadToday is World Book Day

So, inspired by their “Writes of Passage” for YA readers, I thought I do my own little list of of important literary books. These books are sure to create a well rounded, cultured, and mindful reader.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…
The man who never reads lives only one.”

~George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

So here are my 10 must-reads for early readers:

The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

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Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

While the powerlessness of the laboring class is a recurring theme in Steinbeck’s work of the late 1930s, he narrowed his focus when composing “Of Mice and Men” (1937), creating an intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness.

Though the scope is narrow, the theme is universal; a friendship and a shared dream that makes an individual’s existence meaningful.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

One of the most moving and eloquent accounts of the Holocaust, read by tens of millions of people around the world since its publication in 1947. This book had a huge impact on me as a person as well as as a reader.

The Diary of a Young Girl
is the record of two years in the life of a remarkable Jewish girl whose triumphant humanity in the face of unfathomable deprivation and fear has made the book one of the most enduring documents of our time.

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Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

Charlotte Doyle is excited to return home from her school in England to her family in Rhode Island in the summer of 1832. But when the two families she was supposed to travel with mysteriously cancel their trips, she finds herself the lone passenger on a long sea voyage with a cruel captain and a mutinous crew. Worse yet, soon after stepping aboard the ship, she becomes enmeshed in a conflict between them! What begins as an eagerly anticipated ocean crossing turns into a harrowing journey, where Charlotte gains a villainous enemy . . . and at 13 is put on trial for murder!

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

Christie’s most famous book, the bestselling mystery in the world.
“Ten . . .”  Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island mansion off the Devon coast by a mysterious “U. N. Owen.”
“Nine . . .”  At dinner a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret, and by the end of the night one of the guests is dead.
“Eight . . .”  Stranded by a violent storm, and haunted by a nursery rhyme counting down one by one . . . as one by one . . . they begin to die.
“Seven . . .”  Which among them is the killer and will any of them survive?
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

Two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

Rated 4.8 on amazon.com

Matteo Alacrán was not born; he was harvested.
His DNA came from El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium–a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and what was once called Mexico. Matt’s first cell split and divided inside a petri dish. Then he was placed in the womb of a cow, where he continued the miraculous journey from embryo to fetus to baby. He is a boy now, but most consider him a monster–except for El Patrón. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself, because Matt is himself.
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s perfect comedy of manners–one of the most popular novels of all time–that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. “Pride and Prejudice seems as vital today as ever, ” writes Anna Quindlen, and I couldn’t agree more.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

After James Henry Trotter’s parents are tragically eaten by a rhinoceros, he goes to live with his two horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Life there is no fun, until James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree and strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it’s as big as a house. Inside, James meets a bunch of oversized friends—Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, and more. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the great adventure begins!

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

A lawyer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee’s classic novel—a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man’s struggle for justice—but the weight of history will only tolerate so much.

Rated 4.8 on amazon.com

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Now go do something booky! 🙂

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Oregon Reads & Portland Perks

“She Flies With Her Own Wings”

I love living in Oregon, I cannot imagine living anywhere else.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSo I thought I’d put together a list of Oregon books. Whether by a local author or set locally, these Oregon rooted reads are sure to entertain, amuse, and/or inspire readers of all varieties. Just like the state itself. I’ve also included a few special Book*Beans that are specifically found at local shops. So please, enjoy the weird and wonderful world I live in.

Here are my very special hometown selections:

Fugitives and Refugees
Chuck Palahniuk provides answers to all these questions and more as he takes you through the streets, sewers, and local haunts of Portland, Oregon. According to Katherine Dunn, author of the cult classic Geek Love, Portland is the home of America’s “fugitives and refugees.” Get to know these folks, the “most cracked of the crackpots,” as Palahniuk calls them, and come along with him on an adventure through the parts of Portland you might not otherwise believe actually exist.

Rated 4.2 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Café De Olla
Revolucion_logo_OK-300x205@ Revolución Coffee House
I could hardly choose just one from this colorful cafe
1200px-Café_de_olla_-_Restaurante_Don_Chon,_Mexicobut the Café De Olla won.
Its distinct flavor is provided by the ingredients of rich mountain grown Mexican coffee beans that have been ground and Italian roasted, added cinnamon and piloncillo or brown sugar. Cold bottled version coming soon!!

Bone River

From award-winning author Megan Chance, Bone River is a haunting tale of passion and identity. This beautifully written, lyrical literary novel engages with the themes of the despoliation of the Pacific Northwest’s native culture, and 19th-century concerns about race, degeneration and miscegenation.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

 

258sBook Bean: Orange Mocha
@ Rimsky-Korsakoffee House
A decadent real chocolate mocha made with orange infused sugar. It is delicious!
Rimsky is a Portland must visit:
8d864085662f5cacfccd899571098620An eerie, quirky, strange, and unique ambiance fills this old pdx style house turned cafe, and it is an experience you will not forget. You’ll wish you hadn’t gone to the bathroom alone (inside joke, sorry you’ll just have to visit to understand 🙂

Astoria
In the tradition of The Lost City of Z and Skeletons in the Zahara, Astoria is the thrilling, true-adventure tale of the 1810 Astor Expedition, an epic, now forgotten, three-year journey to forge an American empire on the Pacific Coast. Peter Stark offers a harrowing saga in which a band of explorers battled nature, starvation, and madness to establish the first American settlement in the Pacific Northwest and opened up what would become the Oregon trail, permanently altering the nation’s landscape and its global standing.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

1915511_58034154945_7993784_nBook Bean: Homemade Ginger Lemonade
Ginger-Lemonade@ Random Order Coffee
Fresh and delicious, a great treat for spring and summer!

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Starvation Heights

In 1911 two wealthy British heiresses, Claire and Dora Williamson, came to a sanatorium in the forests of the Pacific Northwest to undergo the revolutionary “fasting treatment” of Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard. It was supposed to be a holiday for the two sisters. But within a month of arriving at what the locals called Starvation Heights, the women were emaciated shadows of their former selves, waiting for death.

Rated 4.2 on amazon.com

DragonflyLogolamar copyshotdark2Book Bean: Shot In The Dark
@ The Dragonfly Coffee House
Double shot of espresso added to Drip. Great for a pick-me-up!


One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest


Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey’s novel has left an indelible mark on the literature of our time. Turning conventional notions of sanity and insanity on their heads, the novel tells the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

email_signature_69b1f996-c18a-49ae-97a4-80fa94d8b035_95xBook Bean: Cascara Soda
@ Case Study Coffee
You heard it right, cascara soda, try it! There is also a Lavender Cold Brew 😀20150614_191603.jpg
Cascara = coffee cherry, an herbal tea is made from the dried skins of dried berries of the coffee plant. The word originates from the Spanish cáscara, meaning “husk.”

Sometimes a Great Notion
A bitter strike is raging in a small lumber town along the Oregon coast. Bucking the strike out of sheer cussedness are the Stampers: Henry, the fiercely vital and overpowering patriarch; Hank, the son who has spent his life trying to live up to his father; and Viv, who fell in love with Hank’s exuberant machismo but now finds it wearing thin. And then there is Leland, Henry’s bookish younger son, who returns to his family on a mission of vengeance – finding himself fulfilling it in ways he never imagined. Out of the Stamper family’s rivalries/betrayals, Kesey crafts a novel with the mythic impact of Greek tragedy.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

home-home_page_slider_04.jpghome-home_page_slider_02Book Bean: Dragonfly Chai
@ Bipartisan Cafe
Sweet Black + Spicy Black + Spicy Red (no caffeine)
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Ricochet River
Set in a fictional Oregon town in the late 1960s, Cody’s superlative coming-of-age novel is the story of Wade, Lorna and Jesse–teenagers preparing to break out of their small-town lives. Wade is the local sports hero. Jesse is his friend, a mythical athlete and the Indian kid who applies his own rules to sports and life. And Lorna is Wade’s sweetheart who knows there’s no hope in Calamus for a bright, independent girl. The river rushes past the town, linking the three friends with their pasts, their plans and the world beyond.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

lede_Klatch_TOV_EmilyJoanGreeneBook Bean: Karkadeh
Sweet Hibiscus Nectar (best iced)
and The Winey Mocha:
Mocha w/ a hint of wine.
I had to pick 2 for this location, the Winey Mocha is just too unique!
Tov-Caffeination-795x400

@ ToV Coffee and Tea
They also have tradition Turkish coffee and tea for the daring and adventurous 🙂
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My Abandonment
A girl and her father live in Forest Park, the enormous nature preserve in Portland, Oregon. There they inhabit an elaborate cave shelter, bathe in a nearby creek, store perishables at the water’s edge, use a makeshift septic system, tend a garden, even keep a library of sorts. Once a week, they go to the city to buy groceries and otherwise merge with the civilized world. But one small mistake derails their entire existence, ultimately provoking a deeper flight. Inspired by a true story My Abandonment is a riveting journey into life at the margins, and a mesmerizing tale of survival and hope.

Rated 4.0 on amazon.com

woodlawn.0.0Book Bean: Gassato
@ Wood Lawn Coffee and Pastry
woodlawn-coffee-pastry-portland-front-counter-1600x1067In addition to a regular iced Americano or latte, they also offer Gassato, an iced espresso with a little sweetened milk and a float of fizzy water, all made with Stumptown Hairbender.

The Lathe of Heaven
A classic science fiction novel by Ursula K. Le Guin, one of the greatest writers of the genre, set in a future world where one man’s dreams control the fate of humanity.
In a future world racked by violence and environmental catastrophes, George Orr wakes up one day to discover that his dreams have the ability to alter reality. He seeks help from Dr. William Haber, a psychiatrist who immediately grasps the power George wields. Soon George must preserve reality itself as Dr. Haber becomes adept at manipulating George’s dreams for his own purposes.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

0b516eed815d1d264f654f54855cd07fBook Bean: Macciato
@ Common Ground Coffeehouse
ec915cf577ce9ecfb4996b9986d8cd0bSometimes called espresso macchiato, an espresso drink with a small amount of milk, usually foamed. In Italian, macchiato means “stained” or “spotted” so the literal translation of caffè macchiato is “stained coffee”, or coffee with a spot of milk.

Mink River
Like Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood and Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, Brian Doyle’s stunning fiction debut brings a town to life through the jumbled lives and braided stories of its people.

In a small fictional town on the Oregon coast there are love affairs and almost-love-affairs, mystery and hilarity, bears and tears, brawls and boats, a garrulous logger and a silent doctor, rain and pain, Irish immigrants and Salish stories, mud and laughter.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Cardamom Lattedownload.png
348s (1)
@ symposium coffee
Symposium coffee is Sherwood and Tigard’s finest coffee house featuring Flag & Wire Coffee Roasters, Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Steven Smith Teamaker.

A Heart for Any Fate: Westward to Oregon, 1845
I was drawn to this book because of it’s title, which is from my Longfellow favorite, the poem “A Psalm of Life”
Based on the history of a company of real pioneers, this book tells the story of the King family, whose careful plans are challenged by the harsh, unforeseen realities of overland travel. The family makes the unfortunate decision to follow guide Stephen Meek, who leads them into blistering weather, drought, and treacherous river crossings along a shortcut that becomes known as the Terrible Trail.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

png;base642027a94ca3229fdd.png348s (2)Book Bean: Lavender Latte, Mocha, or Cocoa
@ Rain OR. Shine Coffee House
A seasonal specialty worthy of a Nobel pallet!

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“I wanted to go to Portland because it’s a really good book town.”
~Patti Smith

Indeed it is.

What are some of your hometown favorites?

Profound Paragraphs XIII

“Up out of the lampshade, startled by the overhead light, flew a large nocturnal butterfly that began circling the room. The strains of the piano and violin rose up weakly from below.”

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

With spring in the air, this bit of literary poetry sprang to mind.

What words from literature make you think of spring, or vice versa?

Blue Spider’s Attic Unboxing

8ed0736655b647d8b362cfe9c51d98a6.pngSo I know there are thousands of subscription services out there and so many book or coffee themed ones; and though I’ve been wanting to try one for a while, I just couldn’t find the right fit. I wanted something at least a little personal and not a box in a “box” per-say 🙂 I found two that I was hopeful for, this is my unveiling of company number one Blue Spider’s Attic:

“The Magic of a Used Bookstore, Delivered.”

I am not a big fan of the name but I loved the concept of the company; used books, customized to you by taking a little questionnaire (about both coffee and books) choice of 1 or 3 books, fun themes! It feels personal and made me really excited for my box to come.

I was a little sad at first because my package was left in the rain and a few things got wet, but it did not ruin the overall excitement.20170412_172904.jpg

I do wish they would double package them though 😦

20170412_173313.jpgI love this quaint little sugar spoon!
“I have measured my life with coffee spoons” T.S. Eliot

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A sample from this fun company that does soup themed from books and tea, great combo! This ones
A sample from this fun company that does soup themed from books and tea, great combo! This one smells delish!20170412_173329-1.jpg

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Another little sample, whole bean medium roast, mmm mmm. Looking forward to brewing this one up.

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*The Books! What could they be 😀
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I had not heard of this book so I was excited to have this book be my first unveiled. Had some water damage 😦 but it will survive!

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*This one I have of course heard of and do have a copy already but hey 2 out of 3 is pretty darn good  🙂

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o me.

I love that there was a science fiction/ fantasy book, it shows that they really were catering the order to me.

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Yay another  treasure!

A cute little teacup necklace, LOVE it!

Well I must say that even despite the less than desirable name (I hate spiders,) and my first package arriving soaked and therefore getting one wet book, I still loved the experience. I thought the trinkety treasures were fun and relevant. I was also impressed with the books choices. Based on what I said I enjoyed it was spot on, general/historical fiction, Classic Literature, and Science Fiction/ Fantasy. It was also nice that the prices were really reasonable. Good Job Blue Spider Attic I will be giving you another try. 

Have you every tried any relative subscription boxes? If so please
share about your experience!

Tsundoku Treasures

As I was at the Beach this weekend I of courses had to scope out the local hole in the wall bookshop. I found Bob’s Beach Books in Lincoln City, ORIMG_0026
It’s the sister store to Roberts Book Shop, the biggest books store on the Oregon Coast. Though I have not yet had a chance to visit that store, I was most intrigued by what I was told of it. I may just have to make a special trip back, solely to seek it out.
However, I did enjoy Bob’s, it was a perfectly quaint little books shops filled with new and used books; I loved the cozy Atmosphere and friendly staff. I (to no one’s surprised) picked up a couple of new books as well.

Here is what piqued my interest:

imagesThe Woman in the Dunes
By Kobo Abé
Translated by Dale Saunders

A book on which the highly acclaimed motion picture was based, is one of the most famous contemporary Japanese novels. It’s a story of a man held captive with a young woman at the bottom of a vast sand pit in a remote seaside village which is in constant danger from the advance of the windblown dunes. It strikingly combines the elements of a suspense story with those of modern existentialist novel.

“It was the quality of a great myth, told with the exactness of realistic fiction. It reveals a talent unconditioned by geography: it is a major achievement.”
~ Chad Walsh (Book Week)

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland
In a Ship of Her Own Making
By Catherynne M. Valente
Illustrated by Ana Juan

Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, she of course accepts!

What made me buy the book was first, that I loved the title and second, was this printed on the back…

The Signpost before her now was made of pale wind-bleached wood
and towered above her. On the easterly arm, someone had carved the
deep elegant letters:
TO LOSE YOUR WAY.
On the northerly arm, pointing up to the tops of the cliffs, it said:
TO LOSE YOUR LIFE.
On the southerly arm, pointing out to seas, it said:
TO LOSE YOUR MIND.
And on the westerly arm, pointing up to a little headland and a dwindling of the golden beach, it said:
TO LOSE YOUR HEART.

Well, I’m intrigued! Are you?